Virginia Beach, VA Auto Crashes On Bridge, Aug 1997



Virginia Beach, Va. (AP) - Authorities found the bodies of three women and two children when they raised a submerged car Sunday morning that had crashed off the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel.
The car went over the railing of the northern portion of the bridge-tunnel at 9:05 p.m. Saturday, police said. The two-lane, 18-mile span connects Virginia Beach and the Eastern Shore.
Three cars were involved in the crash, said Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel spokeswoman Lorraine Smith.
A 1993 Hyundai heading south toward Virginia Beach tried to overtake another southbound car. When the driver saw she was not going to be able to pass safely, "she pulled back into the lane and clipped another southbound car and she lost control of her car," Smith said.
The Hyundai veered into the northbound lane, striking a guardrail. It was hit by a northbound car and went over the rail into 12 to 15 feet of water.
Smith said all the cars involved in the accident appeared to be traveling at safe speeds.
The dead adults were identified as CHARLOTTE THOMAS, of Irvington, N.J., and GLORIA DOSWELL and WANDA WHITE, both of Hampton. Authorities did not have their ages. Smith would not release the names of the two girls, but said one of them was an infant.
Smith said the cause of death had not been established. The bodies were taken to Virginia Beach General Hospital.
The driver and passenger in the northbound car suffered minor injuries. They were treated and released from Sentara Bayside Hospital in Virginia Beach.
Smith said the group in the Hyundai was apparently traveling from New Jersey to Hampton. She did not know if the women were related. Smith said the accident is the first time a passenger car had gone off the bridge-tunnel since it opened in 1964.

News Journal Wilmington Delaware 1997-09-01